On August 11, 2020, Judge Gerald J. Pappert sentenced 36-year-old Artavius Horne (also known as “Lo”) to 45 years in prison to be followed by 10 years of supervised release.
In September 2019, Horne was convicted after a jury trial of three counts of sex trafficking minors by force, fraud, and coercion. The government proved Horne played a pivotal role in an operation that sold juveniles for sex in and around Northeast Philadelphia between 2013 and 2105, and in 2018. One of Horne’s three identified victims was only 13 years of age. Horne advertised his victims using now defunct Backpage.com and transported them to New Jersey, New York, Washington D.C., and Maryland to engage in commercial sex. Horne kept his victims in “trap houses” throughout Philadelphia where he forced them to engage in commercial sex for his benefit.
According to public records, Horne has an extensive criminal history dating back to 2003. In 2017, he plead guilty to promoting prostitution of minors, along with seven other related charges in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He was sentenced to 9 to 23 months of confinement and 5 years of probation – meaning he was on probation or parole for selling minors for sex when he continued to engage in sex trafficking of children.
Both Pennsylvania and Federal sex trafficking law do not require proof of force, fraud, or coercion when the victim is a child. Therefore, a person who promotes a minor for prostitution has engaged in the same behavior as codified in the sex trafficking law. The CSE Institute applauds the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for finally bringing trafficking charges against Horne. Now he will never sexually exploit another child. We also commend the bravery of the victims who came forward. Their efforts were indispensable in bringing about Horne’s conviction.